Dye Stain, Java Gel & Water-based Stain Comparison

Adding a Bit of Pizazz I have a lot to share with you today – and I’m using several different products and several different methods and techniques to try them out and let you know what I’ve learned or discovered. NOTE: Most products listed are affiliate links.   So here we go. First up: Let’s look at the differences between three different General Finishes stains: Java Gel (my personal favorite), regular water-based stain, and dye stains. If you’ve not used General Finishes dye stains, order some and check them out. They are water-based and super easy to work with. So here’s the deets: After prepping the piece, I painted the body in Loganberry from Chalky Chicks and topcoated it with matte CrystaLac water-based polyurethane. I left some of the wood parts that were had a nice grain and spiffed them up with Wise Owl Lemon Verbena salve, a gift from a friend, Beverly Watson, one of my Blueprint members. General … Read more

Farm Table Turns Artsy

WARNING: You will either hate or love this project… I stepped outside of my comfort zone and did a fun project with no rules, no restraints and just plain old fun as my guide. Here is the almost before – the legs are painted already, but you get the idea…they originally matched the table with the same blonde wood. I tend to be very conservative in every area of my life but for this project – NOT! Then take a look at my plan that morphed into a super cool artsy table that was definitely outside of my conservative zone. It’s the video I posted for my FFB members as I was deciding which direction to take this farm table. I started in one corner and just kinda went a little crazy adding stencils everywhere until I liked the look. In a couple of spots I added a little background color and then stenciled, layering as I went along. I really … Read more

From Dresser to Dining Room Buffet

From [Side-of-the-Road] Trash to Treasure Our daughter, Katie, had told us she was looking for a buffet for her dining room. It had to be a certain size and very cheap. And of course, since I redesign furniture, I figured I could find one for a good price and just paint it her colors. It took us a bit, but we eventually found this one for FREE [free is good] alongside the road. My two daughters and two grandkids did all the prep work and I helped with the painting. Some struggle with how to help their family when they have a project. Some charge them and do all the work. Some give a discount, and do all the work. For me, if it’s a piece already done and listed that I have in my inventory waiting for a buyer, I give a 20% family discount. If a family member wants a project done that they find or I found … Read more

Dressing Your Thanksgiving Table – A Fall Tablescape

Here is a quick lineup of my Thanksgiving Tablescape – I did this one a couple of years ago and it was a big hit. A finely decorated table can add to the festive atmosphere. What are you plans this year? Tips Day One – Use what you already have. Tips Day Two – Get creative and use different colors, textures and shapes. Tips Day Three – Add items from the great outdoors. Tips Day Four – Vary heights and layer.   Tips Day Five – Bring fall inside and mix and match unusual decor – owls, pinecomes and lanterns?   Tips Day Six – Carry the prominent shape throughout.   Tips Day Seven – Don’t forget the kids! Come visit me at ValFrania.com to see what other great things I have to offer you – I’m all about DIY and beautiful home decor that doesn’t break the bank!   Happy Thanksgiving! XOXO

Upcycled Antique Window Wall Decor

NOTE: All red hyperlinks are affiliate links for your convenience.*   UPCYCLING AN OLD WINDOW I found an old window at a salvage warehouse and thought it would make a good addition to my living room walls. The only problem was it was old, dirty and falling apart. But I had a plan. I could see it all spiffed up and shiny new even though it looked like this: I paid $12 for it and asked DH to load it up. He shook his head and took it home for me. See, DH can’t envision like I can, so he often wonders how I can make something like this look good enough to use for decor. Fortunately he’s willing to help and has knowledge from past experience that helps me transform a piece. Reglazing The old putty was in bad shape so I had to scrape it all off (which was a big job that I spread over a few … Read more

A Bit of Couch Table Glitz

Every time I flip a piece of furniture, I wish I could find a permanent spot for it in my own home. I think this is common for anyone who turns an old out-dated piece into art. We put our heart and soul into it throughout the creative process. It’s something that you must experience before you understand. It’s even hard to see it go out the door when it sells. You feel like a piece of yourself is leaving. Of course the cash in hand is great as is the thought that someone else will enjoy your creation. But still. It’s an emotional moment. I find it quite funny that we would get so attached to a “thing”. But it’s true. A piece of ourselves goes out the door each time. Here is the before. We got it from our favorite shop in Door County here in Wisconsin. We visit the store every year on a mini vaca hoping … Read more

Damaged But Not Destroyed

We tend to toss rather than fix, don’t we? Let’s reconsider. Let’s look through a better lense when considering what to do with an item. It’s so amazing to see an upcycle, redesigned and/or repurposed piece of furniture, decor, or whatever. I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. And I want to see you see it a do it too. This former book table shelf plywood and 2x4s homemade thingy was on Craig’s List. It was terribly scratched up by the owner’s dog. The lady was super apologetic about it when I went to go take a look. I even considered saying, “No thanks” to her when I saw how beat up it was. But I took it anyway and stored it for over a year waiting for time and inspiration to tackle it. Whenever I have a new product, method or technique I want to try out, in my mind’s eye I look over all of the pieces I have … Read more

Outdated Cabinet Upcycled into a Cat Bed

It’s the same with babies and cats. They tend to take over your house. Cat bed, toys, littler box, tunnel…my kids think I’m nuts. They come over to my house and you have to step over all of Mia’s stuff. Let’s face it. Mia is my baby, so I enjoy seeing her lounge and play. So I had this idea that maybe others might like to have some furniture that has a duo-function. How about an end table that hides a cat bed when company comes over? Here is the before. I got it at a garage sale for just a few bucks. The picture looks kinda nice, doesn’t it? This is a case where the photo fools the eye. It’s was in pretty bad shape and needed help. I think it was supposed to look high end, but somehow it lost it’s way. In May of 2019, this was the third workshop in my series that I posted online … Read more

Table Stays Rustic – But Way Prettier!

It’s kinda fun to post this BEFORE my daughter sees it. It’s for her birthday but she’s just a little busy right now thinking about having a baby some day soon. 🙂 So as we wait, this little gem is going up! I started out with a base of off white and then painted a light brown wash over that, to create a worn, Old-world look. You can see the before and base color in the video above. I chose not to fix the imperfections because I went for more of a rustic look, leaving in the dents and cracks. Nor did I repaint the hardware. It had been painted by the prior owner and is flaking off – perfect for the look I wanted! Once I got the background I wanted, I stenciled a clock and part of a compass, distressing the stencil just a bit to give a time-worn effect. Considering the room this would go in, my … Read more

Furniture Flipping Blueprint Enrollment is Open {Sorry now closed}

Join for YOU because it’s time… If you’ve considered learning how to redesign old outdated furniture, and would like to make money at it as well, then the Blueprint is a great choice! For two and a half years I compiled, practiced, experimented and researched this furniture flipping niche and put together an online 24/7/365 manual so others could benefit from what I’ve learned. This past week I ran three FREE workshops about marketing – Stand Out & Show Up. If you’d like to see them, go HERE. It was a great week and the workshops will be up all this week for your learning pleasure! We celebrated with an online party, announced the winner of a contest, and then I explained why The Blueprint is the best next step for anyone who wants to stop trying to find answers and have more time to flip go >>> HERE for our Celebration Party. Come join us! Feel free to ask … Read more